Beginners’ French: A trip to Avignon
Beginners’ French: A trip to Avignon

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Beginners’ French: A trip to Avignon

2.7.4 Telling the time

To ask the time, you say:

Quelle heure est-il? What time is it?

When telling the time, you use the expression il est…

For full hours:

Il est une heure.

Il est cinq heures.

Il est midi. It's midday.

Il est minuit It's midnight.

For half hours, you say:

  • 3:30 Il est trois heures et demie.

For quarter hours, you say:

  • 7:15 Il est sept heures et quart.

  • 9:45 Il est dix heures moins le quart

For other sub-divisions you say:

  • 8:05 Il est huit heures cinq.

  • 9:10 Il est neuf heures dix.

  • 11:20 Il est onze heures vingt.

  • 14:35 Il est trois heures moins vingt-cinq.

To distinguish between am and pm, you say du matin (till 12 noon), de l'après-midi (till 4 or 5 pm), du soir (till 12 midnight).

When more precision is required, people give exact hours and minutes:

  • 7.45 Il est sept heures quarante-cinq

Activité 37

Écoutez et écrivez l'heure.

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Transcript: Audio 26

Extrait 64
Numéro Un
Quelle heure est-il?
Il est 1heure et quart
Numéro Deux
Quelle heure est-il?
Il est 11 heures et demie
Numéro Trois
Quelle heure est-il?
Il est midi vingt.
Numéro Quatre
Quelle heure est-il?
Il est 2 heures de l’après-midi.
Numéro Cinq
Quelle heure est-il?
Il est 9 heures moins vingt
Numéro Six
Quelle heure est-il?
Il est 3 heures moins le quart.
End transcript: Audio 26
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Audio 26
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Listen to Extract 64, in which various people are being asked the time, and write down their answers.

Écoutez et écrivez l'heure.


1 h 15 une heure quinze


  1. 1 h 15

  2. 11 h 30

  3. 12 h 20

  4. 14 h 00

  5. 8 h 40

  6. 2 h 45


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